Route: Ruby Range Traverse

Submitted by Logan Greydanus on Mon, 08/28/2023 - 09:10am
Colorado, US
12.7 km
Vertical Gain
6,194 m

A classic Crested Butte mountain adventure with amazing views and consistent technical terrain. The Ruby Range runs north to south from Yule Pass to Irwin and is in remote wilderness area with only a handfull of trails crossing it. The traverse of the range is almost entirely off trail and includes large portions of technical terrain with scrambling/climbing up to low 5th class. Most of the route sits between 12 and 13,000 ft. A good understanding of the location, possible bail routes, and the technical sections of this route is mandatory before giving it a fast effort. 

START: The Yule Pass trailhead sign at Paradise Divide

Hit all the high-points along the Ruby Range staying as true to the ridge as possible.

The Peaks are:

Purple Mtn




Oh-Be-Joyfull Peak


Purple Peak


Ruby Peak

FINISH: At the Irwin Cat Barn above Irwin Lake


Trip report from detailing the whole route with good beta photos:

Summit Post page for Mt Owen, the highest point of the range. Good info about the geology of the range:

A couple of trip reports from Elk Mountain locals. Note both of these groups did not complete the whole traverse but rather a subsection of it. Good background on the range and surrounding areas and good photos:

Video of the traverse from the local Gunnison Mountain Sports shop: